Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


What is bizarre in bizarre delusions? A critical review

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  • Michel René Joseph Cermolacce
  • Lars Meldgaard Sass Jensen
  • J Parnas
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) treats the presence of bizarre delusions (BD) as the heaviest-weighted clinical criterion of schizophrenia. Although BD play a major role in contemporary diagnostic systems, only a few empirical studies explore this issue. These studies provide highly heterogenous results because they are based on different experimental paradigms, in terms of definition, clinical sample, and number of raters. Here, we first discuss the psychopathological sources of the concept of BD, which were initially described as either nonsensical or incomprehensible. Then, we provide a critical review of contemporary studies on the reliability of BD and their methodological and conceptual limitations. Current approaches have focused intensely on BD's reliability and have defined BD strictly in terms of delusional content--mainly in terms of the physical impossibility or the cultural or historical incomprehensibility of the delusional claims. These approaches have neglected formal features of experience that underlie BD and the crucial issue of the nature and validity of BD. In the discussion, we argue that clinical diagnosis of BD cannot be limited to delusional contents alone and requires taking into account the subjective side of BD (how altered experience manifests itself) as well as the conditions of intersubjective encounter (how BD are expressed to and experienced by the clinician). The notion of "bizarreness" in schizophrenia is not purely theoretical; it has practical relevance for the therapeutic encounter and implications on further empirical research and on diagnostic approaches.
TidsskriftSchizophrenia Bulletin
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)667-79
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 1 jul. 2010

ID: 34173436